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) -- Chip giant


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claimed a

major breakthrough

in chip design this week with the launch of 3-D transistors, which it will debut in a new


processor dubbed Ivy Bridge.

The transistors, which Intel billed as the company's most significant technology announcement of the year, come at a time when the No. 1 chipmaker is under increasing pressure from

ARM Holdings'


low-power technology.

Intel is claiming a breakthrough in processor design with its new 3-D transistors.

"We're going to be able to provide better performance and lower power at the same time," said Bill Holt, general manager of Intel's technology and manufacturing group, during a press conference on Wednesday. "We have been working on this for the last 10 years -- we will be making upgrades to our factories over this year and next year to have them ramp up this technology."

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Transistors, which are microscopic switches, have typically been flat structures on the surface of processors. Intel, however, has built a tiny silicon fin that juts out from the transistors, which it is calling "3-D Tri-Gate." This technology will boost the transfer of current across processors and also improve the density of transistors on chips, according to the tech giant.

Intel shares finished the week down 1.52% at $23.25.

Embattled networking giant


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announced yet more


this week ahead of its forthcoming third-quarter results.

The switch maker, which has been wrestling with execution problems and slumping shares, will streamline its sales, services and engineering organizations, according to a statement released before the market open on Thursday.

"Cisco has driven transformational change before, and we are again transitioning to the next stage of the company's evolution," said Cisco CEO John Chambers, in the statement. "It's time to simplify the way we execute our strategy, and today's announcement is a key step forward."

Following several quarters of weak sales and guidance, the networking giant is

attempting to get its business back on track

and satisfy investors. The latest overhaul follows Cisco's recent decision to

shutter its Flip consumer video business


There are


, however, that Cisco could reap the benefits of a healthy spending environment when it reports its third-quarter results after market close on Wednesday. Citing a survey of 92 Cisco resellers, analyst firm Robert W. Baird has noted solid demand in the U.S. corporate sector, which is being offset by challenges in EMEA and public spending.

Cisco closed up 0.46% at $17.56 on Friday.

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security woes continued this week when the company


that hackers had breached its Sony Online Entertainment division, which makes multiplayer online games. In a statement released late on Monday, Sony said personal information from about 24.6 million Sony Online Entertainment accounts may have been stolen.

The latest breach comes hot on the heels of last week's announcement that Sony's PlayStation Network was


by an unknown hacker.

Sony, which has attracted criticism for its

ongoing data problems

, confirmed to


that it is working with a number of companies to

catch the hackers

behind the PlayStation breach, which include data forensics specialist

Guidance Software



Sony's stock ended the week up 0.29% at $28.06.

On Tuesday,


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introduced a

revamped line of iMac computers

, which use Intel's Sandy Bridge processor and the chipmaker's Thunderbolt data port technology.

The new desktop iMacs feature Intel's 32-nanometer technology, which uses quad core processors and a Turbo Boost feature to crank up the computing speeds.

The move, though expected, is a welcome endorsement for Intel, after the chipmaker got off to a rocky start earlier this year when it had to

recall the first shipments

of its new processors. Apple's chip choice, however, is bad news for graphics-chip maker


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, which had been in previous versions of the iMacs.

Shares of Apple closed down 0.03% in afternoon trading Friday at $346.66.


(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report



unveiled their new Infuse 4G phone at an event in New York late on Thursday, which they are touting as America's thinnest 4G smartphone.

The telecom giant is also making a song and dance about the device's 4.5-inch screen, which is the largest in its smartphone lineup. Mike Woodward, vice president of AT&T's mobile device portfolio, told


that this will prove particularly useful when viewing news aggregation services and in social networking.

"One of the things about Facebook is that is has become something where people communicate with each other, but also share media," he said. "People love big screens, and the thinness makes the whole device feel more manageable."

AT&T shares ended the week up 0.13% at $31.26.

Tech earnings season gathers pace next week with





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(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report

on deck.


will be live-blogging Cisco's results after market close on Wednesday and interviewing the company's CFO Frank Calderoni the following morning. In addition to a busy earnings week, attention will be focused on San Francisco on Tuesday when


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I/O developers conference kicks off.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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